'Face Off' exit Q&A: 'The vets were a lot more cutthroat.'
They did the Monster Mash! On last week’s episode of Face Off, contestants were tasked with creating futuristic versions of Frankenstein’s famous monster and his bride. Original backstories were a must, and the winning design landed a spot at Universal Studios’ annual Halloween Horror Nights event.
The biggest challenge of the challenge? Each team of three included newbies and veterans.
Some contestants fared well. Season three vets Alana Schiro and Laura Tyler and newcomer Laney Parkhurst earned the judges’ praise their original concept, a monster reawakened by a bolt of lightning and a bride who acted as his battery. Alana was singled out for her exceptional facial sculpture and was declared the challenge winner. Although season two’s Miranda Jury and newbies Eddie Holecko and Sam Allen had conflicting concepts, they were eventually able to compromise, but Sam’s aesthetic inconsistencies disappointed the judges and put her on the chopping block.
EW spoke with Allen about butting heads with Miranda, what went wrong in the challenge, and what she’s been working on since filming wrapped.
Entertainment Weekly: What was it like being a contestant on Face Off?
Sam Allen: It was pretty crazy. It’s a lot of pressure. It’s really fast. The most nerve-wracking part was getting used to having so many cameras around you all the time. You’re not only working at an extremely fast pace, but there’s also eyes on you at all times. It’s a lot different from working in the real world.
Do you think it was any easier for the veterans?
Yeah, for sure. They definitely had that as an advantage. Typically, in this industry, we’re behind-the-scenes people. We’re not used to being in the spotlight. Just even getting over your nerves in the first place is really difficult. The first Foundation Challenge was extremely difficult for me in that respect. You walk into this enormous place and there’s all these cameras everywhere. That was overwhelming in itself. It was a lot to take in, especially with the twist of [seeing] the familiar faces. It was a lot of pressure.
Were you disappointed that you were eliminated relatively early on in the competition?
I definitely wanted to go further, but given the circumstances of how the competition went this season, I can’t really say that I’m surprised. I don’t really feel like this is a competition about the newcomers. It’s definitely about the vets this season. Unfortunately, I think we were led into something that we didn’t fully understand.
If they were to do another season of veterans vs newbies, would you come back now that you’re considered a vet?
I honestly don’t even know how to answer that. If I were in that situation, I would have to give it some sincere thought.
What was it like working with Eddie and Miranda on the Spotlight Challenge?
Eddie was amazing to work with, he was very forward with his ideas. He was easy to talk to. Miranda, on the other hand, I don’t think really heard either one of us. She just kind of [treated it like], in one ear, out the other, for everything we suggested and said. We were both very unhappy with the fact that she was sculpting both of the faces and took over the entire challenge. I don’t think I’d collaborate with Miranda in the future.
Do you think her approach stemmed from the fact that she’d been on the show before?
I don’t know Miranda personally, so I don’t know what she’s like that outside of the show. Watching prior seasons, you feel like the cast members really got to know each other and helped each other. There’s a sense of unity between the cast members. I think that was really lacking this season. The vets who came back were in a completely different mindset than they were the first time. They were a lot more cutthroat and in it to win it and [were] not in it for the experience of the whole thing. I don’t know if [Miranda] got jaded by the competition aspect or if that is her [personality]. Like I said, I don’t really know her as a person.
What was it like having Kevin Grevioux as a guest judge on the show?
That was really cool. Underworld is something I respect a lot.
Did you learn anything from him?
I do’’t know. I feel like my emotions got so wrapped up with not being heard and trying to take the backseat while trying to pump a product out. I got tunnel vision. I didn’t see too much of what was going on.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you had to do the challenge over?
If I had to do this challenge over, I definitely would have asserted myself more and not taken the backseat. I feel like I had already taken the backseat so much early on that when it came down to the final day, it was just like, “If I don’t go along with what Miranda is saying, then we’re going to have nothing to show.” Even just from the design phase, I would have made my ideas heard more and not been like, “Well, she’s the veteran, I guess we’ll let her take the reins on this one.” I mean, there has to be a leader, or else there’s too many ideas and it won’t look like a uniform concept. I also found out after leaving the show that the concept that the female creature [our team] created had already been done on a show that Eddie and I had never seen before. Miranda had and said something about that in going into judging. That’s a little unnerving.
What have you been working on since leaving the show?
Currently, I am working for Fright Fest at Six Flags [in Jackson, NJ]. We’re getting everything sculpted and molded and the prosthetics ready for opening weekend, which is actually pretty early this season. It’s September 13th, which is also my birthday.
What’s your dream project?
I’m not so much into the whole working on set or in a shop in L.A. I would like to have a custom costume shop. I love of Halloween, that’s where my love of this art came from. I’d love to stick with the whole Halloween aspect of makeup design.
Face Off airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on the Syfy channel.